There's been a lot of political capital invested in this. So too, there's quite a bit of deception invested in the political retribution with a veto about allowing Hoboken residents the ability to add a few steps in their backyard for egress. More importantly, the rear access to a Hoboken home has been the difference between livable space and rendering a home unbearable after SuperStorm Sandy in 2012.
Recall the many tales of woe when people were not permitted to repair their homes and meet the rigid bureaucratic standard of minimum flood elevation? The results were catastrophic as the owners bailed and new owners would raze the existing disaster area and then rebuild - higher.
Stairs. What we're talking about with this Ravi Bhalla vetoed ordinance is not developer threats to the well-being of mankind and Hoboken residents.
Ravi Bhalla, Hoboken's mayor may not be on schedule for the Washington St. renovation but when it comes to taking political dirty shots; he's singularly on top of it. A nuke has been designed to once and forevermore end the discussion about the many whoppers and ethical problems stemming from a Supreme Court censure almost yanking a Ravi Bhalla law license and his in your face second job with a Republican land use law firm, etc., etc.
Forget all about that and let's focus on the political operation designed to drown out and distract from those issues.
As one comic Ravibot who lives nowhere near a donut homeowner situation said in the last City Council meeting; any Hoboken homeowner who puts stairs in the backyard helps "developers build further into people's backyards."
Is this lunacy due to a 'member of the public' mindreading fanciful narratives constructed out of the Hoboken mayor's office? What are the odds?
A short clip from last month's City Council meeting highlights the policy dispute. On one side speaking in favor of a Nanny State "no" for what would amount to literally one-percent of lot coverage or thereabouts in a homeowners backyard with stairs at ground level: Councilman Jim Doyle.
On the other side, the ordinance sponsor and advocate for codifying common sense so Hoboken residents can meet the rigid elevation requirements and egress for stairs in the rear of their home to what is typically a kitchen: Councilman Mike DeFusco.
Note in the policy dispute and this is is nothing more than a policy dispute, each side points to their assets. Doyle uses the unelected Planning Board and Master Plan documentation as his reasons to not allow this approximate one-percent encroachment on 60% lot space limits.
(Yes, the stairs under discussion for rear egress are an encroachment of approximately 1%.)
On the other side, Councilman Mike DeFusco highlights it's the council's responsibility to codify and correct the burden on Hoboken residents who typically have gone to the Hoboken Zoning Board to see stairs added in order to enter and exit the rear of their home. The cost of that onerous process often runs into the tens of thousands of dollars.
DeFusco recounts his time on the Hoboken Zoning Board and how ludicrous it is Hoboken residents have to go to that body to obtain approval to put in a few stairs so they can enter and exit their backyard and often to satisfy the flood elevation requirement after Sandy.
In the discussion over rear entry stairs, there's not a word by anyone about any threat of developers who will swoop down and destroy the light and air for ants and earthworms.
Talking Ed Note: Ravi Bhalla has stepped into it with a concerted and coordinated political attack deploying a nuke. The Big Lie technique used here about his protecting Hoboken from developers is quite a fanciful tale.
Are we seeing the effects of paranoia and ultimately self-destruction?
More to come.